Maine lawmakers voted last month to raise tobacco purchase age to 21.

Raising tobacco purchase age is about health, not military enlistment or voting

on Aug. 16, 2017, at 11:07 a.m.
The bill wasn’t about not liking tobacco. Rather, it aimed to reduce youth smoking.
A combination photo of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump.

Despite heated rhetoric, US and North Korea aren’t ready for war

on Aug. 15, 2017, at 11:32 a.m.
There is a lot happening behind the scenes that, if not reassuring, is not as bombastic as the rhetoric from the two leaders.
White supremacists stand behind their shields at a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, Aug. 12, 2017.

Racial and ethnic hatred has no place in America. Why is it so hard for President Trump to say so?

on Aug. 14, 2017, at 10:41 a.m.
When free speech turns into hate speech, coupled with intentional violence, it can no longer be defended. It has no place in the United States.
Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services is failing the state’s most vulnerable residents.

Here’s a list of the ways Maine is failing its most vulnerable that should prompt action

on Aug. 12, 2017, at 11:34 a.m.
With DHHS giving no indication it will change course, it will be up to community members to tell their lawmakers they expect major improvements.
Maine DHHS Acting Commissioner Ricker Hamilton

DHHS’ response to scathing federal audit isn’t rooted in reality

on Aug. 11, 2017, at 7:37 a.m.
As Gov. Paul LePage and former DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew spoke about prioritizing the needs of residents with developmental disabilities over those of other needy populations, they were failing the very population they were claiming to help.
Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein holds a chart purporting to show an increase in U.S. drug overdose deaths, as he testifies about the Justice Department's budget before a subcommittee hearing of the Senate Appropriations Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. June 13, 2017.

Trump was given a plan for easing the opioid crisis. He should follow it.

on Aug. 10, 2017, at 12:58 p.m.
The White House commission has set out a reasonable and helpful path. Trump should take it.

Politicians need to beware when stifling discussion on social media

on Aug. 09, 2017, at 10:23 a.m.
Censoring comments and blocking users is especially troubling because Gov. Paul LePage has said he uses Facebook to bypass the media and get his message directly to Maine people.
In 2013, there were 24 beds where people with disabilities in crisis could go in times of need. Sixteen of those beds were run by Employment Specialists of Maine, an organization that offers residential and employment programs for people with disabilities. The other eight were run by the state. When the state's contract with ESM officially ended on June 30, there was no replacement. As a result of the loss of crisis beds, it appears some people with disabilities have ended up in the emergency room because they had no where else to go.

Maine is failing to care for people with disabilities

on Aug. 08, 2017, at 11:26 a.m.
In the span of a little more than six months, Maine drastically reduced its capacity to care for people with disabilities in crisis, potentially by as much as two-thirds.
Jesse Orach (left) of Gorham is helped across the Beach to Beacon 10K finish line by Rob Gomez of Windham on Saturday. Orach, who won the Maine division of the race, had collapsed just short of the finish line and runner-up Gomez helped him across.

A Maine road race reminds us that winning isn’t everything

on Aug. 07, 2017, at 1:05 p.m.
Every day, Mainers, and others around the country and the world, quietly help one another.
Over the last several years, the number of public health nurses has fallen by more than half.

In the LePage era, protecting public health required a veto override

on Aug. 05, 2017, at 9:48 a.m.
Republicans and Democrats alike chose to ignore the administration’s charades and to rebuild Maine’s public health nursing ranks, for the betterment of Maine people’s health and wellbeing.
Richard Dudman was a Washington correspondent with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for 31 years and posted stories from around the world, including Argentina, the Middle East, China and Vietnam. He was the BDN's senior contributing editor for 12 years.

From captivity in Cambodia to aging in Maine, Richard Dudman never tired of a good story

on Aug. 04, 2017, at 9:45 a.m.
Richard Dudman had an informal motto: “Reporter who sits on hot story gets ass burned.” There was no risk of Dudman getting burned. He didn’t retire from journalism until 2012, when he was 94. And even then he continued to write an occasional story, including a 2015 remembrance of the Vietnam War.
Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) walks to the Senate floor ahead of a vote on the health care bill on Capitol Hill in Washington on July 27, 2017.

Listening to real people trumps threats in ACA repeal battle

on Aug. 03, 2017, at 1:26 p.m.
Trump and LePage, who love attention, should take note of the spontaneous support and appreciation that greeted Collins, not because she acted tough or made hollow promises, but because she listened to her constituents.

After six years of LePage, Maine’s public health failures should come as little surprise

on Aug. 02, 2017, at 11:01 a.m.
The assault on Maine’s health has come from all directions.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (right) mingles at Becky's Diner in Portland with Maine Gov. Paul LePage in tow, July 1, 2015.

Raising tobacco purchase age to 21 will save lives and money

on Aug. 01, 2017, at 11:08 a.m.
Last month, New Jersey became the third state to raise the legal age for tobacco purchases to 21. Maine should become the fourth.
Downtown Bangor

Want to make Bangor better? Join an Innovative Neighborhoods team.

on July 31, 2017, at 8:08 a.m.
Bangor’s neighborhoods have many examples to draw from. Our advice is to think big. But first you have to get involved.
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke (right) looks at the sign for the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument with Lucas St. Clair (center) and superintendent of Katahdin Woods Tim Hudson during in June.

It’s time Zinke let us know what he, Trump have in mind for Katahdin monument

on July 29, 2017, at 11:47 a.m.
The review of the new national monument has dampened the enthusiasm. There is no reason to keep that cloud of uncertainty over the region.
Nick St. Louis of Otis was taking Suboxone for an opiate use disorder and had that medication stopped when he was sent to Penobscot County Jail in 2008, which risked pushing his recovery backward. He is now working full-time as the housing navigator at the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter.

How Maine jails can help prevent overdose deaths

on July 28, 2017, at 10:30 a.m.
Doctors know how to treat substance use disorders and save lives based on decades of research. Maine needs to listen to them.
People protest President Donald Trump's announcement that he plans to reinstate a ban on transgender individuals from serving in any capacity in the U.S. military, in Times Square, in New York City, July 26, 2017.

Degradation by tweet is no way to run the U.S. military

on July 27, 2017, at 11:44 a.m.
Using transgender Americans as pawns to score political points is reprehensible. Congress, which controls the Pentagon’s budget, should stop this horrifying and unnecessary policy change.
Sen. John McCain, who was recently diagnosed with brain cancer, acknowledges applause as he arrives on the floor of the U.S. Senate on Tuesday.

McCain said the right things. Collins did the right thing.

on July 26, 2017, at 12:24 p.m.
Sen. John McCain gave a fiery speech about the many things wrong with the Senate — the lack of trust and compromise and the motivation to “win” for political reasons, not for the public good. He was right on every point.
Boy Scouts plant flags at the Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Augusta prior to Memorial Day 2014.

The speech Boy Scouts should have heard, given by President Truman 67 years ago

on July 25, 2017, at 12:10 p.m.
Using children as political prop brings to mind Nazi rallies in 1930s Germany, not a gathering of young men who are supposed to be dedicated to service, kindness and courtesy.